Light, compact, weatherproof camera kit – the Olympus OM-D’s are a blessing for bushwalkers – especially if you fall into a river rock hopping

Written by Gary on May 25th, 2015

OK, submerging your OM-D camera is NOT covered by Olympus for warranty repairs, nor do they recommend getting them really wet even if they have made them the more weatherproof than most dSLRs.

You probably have seen some reviewers “testing” this by sitting the camera in pool of water under a shower, or pouring a bottle of water on them, or running them under a tap without any obvious problems.

The Olympus advertisements themselves show off the OM-D’s with water droplets all over them to show you don’t have to fear the rain (as long as the lens is also weatherproof).

Despite the above, see looking after your Olympus camera in my wiki, and there is a link to an Olympus OM-D instruction manual regarding weathersealing of the E-M1.

Last week I had the pleasure of spending a week down in Victoria’s lovely Otway Ranges on the Great Ocean Road, and of course, bushwalking in the rain was on the menu given it is an extensive rainforest with around 2000mm rainfall per annum.

The Micro Four Third camera system has given me the ability to be more mobile, and access more places in less time thanks to its small size and light weight, plus, with its weatherproofing, I can make both my cameras even more accessible by mounting them onto a quick release plate on a waist belt which means no camera swinging dangerously from my neck hitting rocks I need to hands to negotiate, much reduced weight on my neck and back (I hardly need a back pack now for short walks), and best of all it only takes me seconds to access the camera and securely lock it back onto the belt, allowing me free to use my hiking poles when not taking pics.

Furthermore, the incredible image stabilisation system in the Olympus OM-D cameras means I no longer take tripods to waterfalls, or down the hundreds of steps to the beach, as I can get sharp hand held wide angle shots down to around 1/3rd second on my E-M5 and probably longer on the E-M1.

But even better, if I do need longer exposures, there is a lovely little Trail Pix device from kickstarter which converts my hiking poles (plus a 3rd collapse pole) into a tripod with a small ball mount tripod head – see my wiki page on ultralight bushwalking.

Back to my bushwalk and the dunking of my E-M5

I had both cameras on my belt and was attempting to walk upstream to this lovely little waterfall on Elliot River in the west Otways Ranges, when the slippery rock moved and I ended up half in the river – the E-M5 was submerged for a second or so, my E-M1 was on the other side and didn’t get wet, which was a good thing as I had the 75mm f/1.8 lens on it which is NOT weatherproof!

After drying off the water with a cloth, all was well and I continued my venture upstream, albeit, more cautiously and got a few long exposure hand held shots of the pretty little cascade (E-M5, mZD 12-40mm lens, polariser filter, ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/4 second):

Elliot Falls

Not far from here, someone had kicked over a curious purple and orange/brown mushroom which Google has not helped me identify thus far – so if anyone knows, please message me:

mushroom

A stormy dusk over a wild but serene remote beach (still have sore quads after doing a fast uphill hike to get back to the car before darkness – must remember to bring a torch!):

Details: Olympus E-M5, mZD 12-40mm PRO lens, polarising filter, ISO 100, f/8, hand held 1/5th sec to show motion in the pounding winter waves.

wild serenity

Moments earlier, a little of the sunset peaked through the dense clouds to allow this nice pastel effect:

Details: Olympus E-M5, mZD 12-40mm PRO lens, polarising filter, ISO 100, f/8, hand held 1/5th sec to show motion in the water.

sunset

Back up in the tops of the cool temperate rainforest of the Otways is the lovely Hopetoun Falls – quite accessible to tourists in a hurry as long as they don’t mind a hundred steps down and back up:

Details: Olympus E-M5, mZD 12-40mm PRO lens, polarising filter, ISO 200, f/5, hand held 1/10th sec to show motion in the water.


Hopetoun Falls

And, a visit to the Otways can’t not show the awesome ambience of being in the 300 year old Eucalypt Mountain Ash and Myrtle Beech rainforest with a touch of low cloud amongst the trees after rain:

Details: Olympus E-M5, mZD 12-40mm PRO lens at 40mm, polarising filter, ISO 200, f/5, hand held 1/13th sec.

forest

Finally, resting at a remote mouth of a river on a secluded beach is sheer bliss:

Details: Olympus E-M5, mZD 12-40mm PRO lens at 27mm, polarising filter, ISO 200, f/3.5, hand held 1/40th sec.

river mouth

ps… all the current Olympus OM-D’ cameras are weathersealed EXCEPT for the E-M10.

 

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